The Netherlands Men’s Hockey team trounce South Africa in their fifth Pro League match

0 : International Hockey Federation/Instagram

Dragflick Newsdesk : The Netherlands dominated the game to a 6-2 victory over hosts, South Africa, in the second game of Pro League play today. Dennis Warmerdam buried two goals and was named Player of the Match as the Dutch showed fine form in their build up all night, while it was their final moves as they entered the circle that were as if someone was pulling a trigger – piercing and direct.

After the game Warmerdam said:

‘I preferred my first goal of the two, it was great counter and all I had to do was tap it in. [Referring to his recovery from cancer] It is a medical miracle that I am standing here.’

To open the scoring, Jorrit Croon’s aerial into the circle was mishandled between South Africa’s Daniel Bell and keeper Estiaan Kriek. Thijs van Dam scooped up the loose ball and put it in the untended net for a 1-0 Netherlands lead just before the first quarter break.

Imre Vos found Thierry Brinkman’s reverse stick in the circle and the brilliant deflection doubled the Dutch lead. A rare lapse on defence gave South Africa their first penalty corner in the 26th minute and Leneal Jackson’s flick beat Maurits Visser glove side to cut the Dutch lead in half.

South Africa’s Nicholas Spooner had a chance to tie the game from the stroke mark but his flick hit the bar. Van Dam then set up Warmerdam for a textbook deflection in tight for a third Netherlands goal and a 3-1 lead at half time.

Warmerdam blasted home his second of the game in the 39th minute. A Kriek rebound fell perfectly for Warmerdam whose reverse stick one-timed the ball out of the air for the 4-2 lead. Tim Swaen’s penalty corner flick and Tjep Hoedemakers rebound goal, both in the fourth quarter, further cemented the Dutch victory. Credit to South Africa who fought until the dying seconds as Matthew De Sousa’s blast gave the hosts a consolation goal.

South African captain Keenan Horne said after the match:

‘It was about small margins. If we had scored the penalty stroke it may have been a different game. But it was much better than our previous two games. We have gone back to basics and defended well. Defence is the cornerstone of our play.’

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